That the religious right completely took over the word Christian is a given. At one time, phrases such as Christian charity and Christian tolerance were used to denote kindness and compassion. To perform a "Christian" act meant an act of giving, of acceptance, of toleration. Now, Christian is invariably linked to right-wing conservative political thought -- Christian nation, Christian morality, Christian values, Christian family.more Peter McWilliams quotes
The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think.more H. L. Mencken quotes
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.more H. L. Mencken quotes
The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.more H. L. Mencken quotes
Once [William Jennings Bryan] had one leg in the White House and the nation trembled under his roars. Now he is a tinpot pope in the Coca-Cola belt and a brother to the forlorn pastors who belabor halfwits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind the railroad yards.more H. L. Mencken quotes
There is, in fact, no reason to believe that any given natural phenomenon, however marvelous it may seem today, will remain forever inexplicable. Soon or late the laws governing the production of life itself will be discovered in the laboratory, and man may set up business as a creator on his own account. The thing, indeed, is not only conceivable; it is even highly probable.more H. L. Mencken quotes
Religious liberty is primarily a man’s liberty to profess a faith different from that of the dominant religion, and to unite in public worship with those who share his faith.more Giovanni Miegge quotes
The witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom. The witch-hunt was not, however, a mere repression. It was also, and as importantly, a long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to express publicly his guilt and sins, under the cover of accusations against the victims.more Arthur Miller quotes
Zealotry of either kind -- the puritan's need to regiment others or the victim's passion for blaming everyone except himself -- tends to produce a depressing civic stupidity. Each trait has about it the immobility of addiction. Victims become addicted to being victims: they derive identity, innocence and a kind of devious power from sheer, defaulting helplessness. On the other side, the candlesnuffers of behavioral and political correctness enact their paradox, accomplishing intolerance in the name of tolerance, regimentation in the name of betterment.more Lance Morrow quotes
The Tenth Commandment sends a message to socialists, to egalitarians, to people obsessed with fairness, to American presidential candidates in the year 2000 -- to everyone who believes that wealth should be redistributed. And that message is clear and concise: Go to Hell.more P. J. O'Rourke quotes
At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is “not done”… Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.more George Orwell quotes
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church.more Thomas Paine quotes
Practical religion consists in doing good: and the only way of serving God is that of endeavoring to make His creation happy. All preaching that has not this for its object is nonsense and hypocrisy.more Thomas Paine quotes
Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.more Thomas Paine quotes
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.more Thomas Paine quotes
Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system.more Thomas Paine quotes
There is no inherent misdirection in holding unorthodox views. Indeed, the autonomous individual, free from compulsive conformance and unquestioned assumptions, is likely to be unorthodox... They stimulate the climate of controversy without which political democracy becomes an empty formalism.more Snell Putney quotes
Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think, recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.more Eleanor Roosevelt quotes
In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.more Bertrand Russell quotes
The practical objection to Puritanism, as to every form of fanaticism, is that it singles out certain evils as so much worse than others that they must be suppressed at all costs. The fanatic fails to recognise that the suppression of a real evil, if carried out too drastically , produces other evils which are even greater.more Bertrand Russell quotes
There is a lurking fear that some things are not meant “to be known,” that some inquiries are too dangerous for human beings to make.more Carl Sagan quotes
Freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorships.more Andrei Sakharov quotes
Without doubt the greatest injury of all was done by basing morals on myth. For, sooner or later, myth is recognized for what it is, and disappears. Then morality loses the foundation on which it has been built.more Lord Herbert Louis Samuel quotes
Heretics were often most bitterly persecuted for their least deviation from accepted belief. It was precisely their obstinacy about trifles that irritated the righteous to madness. Why can they not yield on so trifling a matter?more Leo Shestov quotes
Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying “No” to any authority -- literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political.more Ignazio Silone quotes
And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in all the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.more John Steinbeck quotes
And this I must fight against: any idea, religion or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for this is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system.more John Steinbeck quotes
Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant? Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh? We are a company of ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only by incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures to declare that we don't know the map of the universe as well as the map of our infintesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness.more Leslie Stephen quotes
If atheism is to be used to express the state of mind in which God is identified with the unknowable, and theology is pronounced to be a collection of meaningless words about unintelligible chimeras, then I have no doubt, and I think few people doubt, that atheists are as plentiful as blackberries.more Leslie Stephen quotes
Till then we shall be content to admit openly, what you (religionists) whisper under your breath or hide in technical jargon, that the ancient secret is a secret still; that man knows nothing of the Infinite and Absolute; and that, knowing nothing, he had better not be dogmatic about his ignorance. And, meanwhile, we will endeavour to be as charitable as possible, and whilst you trumpet forth officially your contempt for our skepticism, we will at least try to believe that you are imposed upon by your own bluster.more Leslie Stephen quotes
Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.more Tecumseh quotes
I know that most men -- not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic, problems -- can seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty -- conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.more Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi quotes
Religions are illogical primitive ignorance. There is nothing as ridiculous and tragic as a religious government.more Leon Trotsky quotes
...So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.more Voltaire quotes
It is amusing that a virtue is made of the vice of chastity; and it's a pretty odd sort of chastity at that, which leads men straight into the sin of Onan, and girls to the waning of their color.more Voltaire quotes